The Science is in… Are Dogs REALLY Good for your Health?

Have you ever noticed how you are always in a better mood when you are around your pet? Well, according to a psychology study from the University of Miami, pet owners are better off than non-pet owners. It’s true! Dogs are not only cute to look at, but they also aid in stress relief and have positive impact on your moods.

Not only can pets help boost your mood, but they can also help with medical conditions. “Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer outbursts if an animal is present in the home”, says Lynette Hart, PhD, associate professor at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Dogs also help to keep you healthy and in shape. According to a study done by researchers at the University of Victoria, dog owners were more likely to participate in physical activity than non-dog owners. Pets can help your health is ways you’ve probably never even thought of.

Stress Relief

Petting your dog or cat can actually help relieve stress. Petting your animal can cut down on levels of stress hormones and helps release a relaxation hormone into the body.

Social Shyness

Pets can help you connect and start conversations with people. If you are out and you see someone walking by themselves, how likely are you to go up and talk to that person? Not very likely. Now, what if you see someone walking the cutest dog you’ve ever seen? People are more likely to go up to strangers if they have a dog. Not only do dogs help start the conversation, but they can also be the topic of conversation.

Happier Life

People with pets tend to lead a happier life over all. Pets turn people into more trusting and patient people. Pets also make people feel a love like no other. Dogs especially, help people see what unconditional and judgement free love really is.

Depression

Therapists often suggest owning a pet to help fight depression. Owning a pet gives you a new sense of meaning and takes you out of yourself. Pets provide a one of a kind, unconditional love that some people just need.

Fitness

Pets help people get off their feet with no time for excuses. All dogs need exercise. So, whether you are romping around in your backyard throwing a Frisbee to your dog or taking him for a walk, you are both getting physical activity. These simple everyday tasks can sometimes even lead to weight loss. People who own dogs are more active and less likely to become obese or overweight.